Give It Up to Save It

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24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. – Luke 9:24 NLT
 

After all the trials and the persecutions that Jesus went through on Thursday night, early Friday morning, He had to take up his Cross and carry it out of the city. Along the way, Simon of Cyrene was ordered to help carry the Cross for Jesus. While we can’t carry the actual wooden cross that Simon bore for Jesus, we each have a path that God has laid out for us. Somewhere along that path, we will meet Jesus. Then we will either accept Him or reject Him. If we accept Him, there will be a cross for us to bear. The cross may be financial, it may be physical, it may include rejection and persecution, but whatever cross we are called to bear, we can be sure that if we have listened to the whispers of the Holy Spirit and we have been obedient, we will be prepared for it. If the cross seems more than we can bear, it may be because we have not yet decided to die to our own desires. The only way to save our lives is to lose them for Jesus.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 01-07-2018

Giving It All Up For HIS Sheep

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Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. – John 21:17a NLT
 

 

They had caught 153 fish in one haul, talk about an abundance! Jesus came that we might have abundant life (John 10:10). This was the third time they had seen Jesus since the Resurrection, so they knew who He was. Now, Jesus asks Peter a simple question. “Do you love me more than these?” Peter answers “Yes, Lord, you know I love you”. Jesus then said to Peter “take care of my sheep”. It is as if Jesus is saying to Peter, do you love me enough to leave these other disciples to go and feed my sheep. The third time Jesus asks He uses a different word for love that is asking Peter how deeply do you love me? Jesus says for the third time, “Feed my sheep”. The question for us then is this: Do we love Jesus enough to leave family, friends and home to feed His sheep? We come to the same question that we must ask ourselves everyday. Are we willing to give up everyone and everything to follow Jesus?
23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.—Luke 9:23, 24 (NLT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 12-15-2017

What Will We Give?

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34 One of the soldiers, however, pierced his side with a spear, and immediately blood and water flowed out. – John 19:34 NLT

One would think that after all the things that the leaders had just done, that a body on a cross on the Sabbath would be of little consequence. But, we can only guess that that would have offended their piety. When the legs of those hanging on the cross were broken. the full weight of the body was pulling down on the arms and torso making it more difficult to breathe. This caused the person to expire more quickly due to a lack of oxygen. By the time the soldiers came to the cross that Jesus was hanging on, He was already dead, so they didn’t break His legs. Instead they pierced His side with a spear causing all the fluids to run out of His body. This fulfilled more prophecy concerning the death of Jesus. Just as a sacrificial lamb had to be completely bled out before it could be sacrificed, so was Jesus. He gave up everything for us- His royalty in heaven, His life, His very last drop of blood. What are we willing to give up for Him?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 11=12-2017

The Gift of Giving Generously

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Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
-John 12:3 NLT
The purpose of every human is to glorify God. On an earlier occasion, Martha had complained about Mary setting at the feet of Jesus while she cooked and served the people. Now, Judas is complaining about Mary “wasting” the expensive perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus. God has gifted each of us with different talents to achieve His glory. Martha was a worker and a helper. She knew how to get things done. Mary had the gifts of giving and encouraging. Some of us are vessels of gold and silver while others are vessels of wood and earth. Sometimes we try to do things outside of our gifting and calling. Those are the times that cause problems in the body of Christ. If you haven’t already, ask God to show you the gift He has given you to glorify Him. The body of Christ needs each of us to fulfill our calling, God needs each of us to exercise our gift so that the body will be complete. Once you discover “what is right” for you, you will find the joy and peace that God wants to give each of His children every day

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-17-2017

God Gives to Us Abundantly!

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If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking ​. – James 1:5 NLT


God has promised to fulfill our every need. If we need wisdom, we need to ask, but when we ask, we must believe that God will do what He has said that He will do. Jesus told His disciples that they had “little” faith and that is why they could not do certain miracles. We must have faith and doubt is the opposite of faith. As long as we have doubts, we will change our minds anytime anyone tells us “God is not going to do that for you”. Make a decision based on what you know, not what you feel. Feelings are unreliable and can be used by satan to bring us down. Study the Bible asking God to guide you and give you insight into His Word. Then you can be sure that what you ask for lines up with His Word and He will give it to you. Why would He not do that? After all, He has already given His most precious possession as a ransom for our souls.

 
16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. 17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
– John 3:​16-17 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 05-22-2017

Give and Give Generously

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And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others–. 2 Cor. 9:8 NLT


It is important for us to remember that everything we have here on earth is a gift from God. It doesn’t matter who signs the paycheck, God is ultimately our resource. We are to be good stewards of all of the resources God gives us. This includes our time as well as our finances. Just as He has the authority to raise up leaders and put people in positions of authority, He can raise us up financially or He can bring us down if we trust only in our finances. Any gift that God gives to us is to be used not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of those He puts in our paths each day. The ultimate use of the resources God has put under our authority is to expand the Kingdom of God. It isn’t that God “needs” us or our finances, He has chosen to use us in His work. That requires us to be obedient to His precepts. Unless you are using more than 10% of your time and money for God, you haven’t started giving yet. Give generously and cheerfully and be prepared for a great blessing from the Lord.

38 Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back. – Luke 6:38 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 11-27-2016

It Is THE Win-Win Situation!

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25 The generous will prosper;  those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.
— Proverbs 11:25 NLT
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we are encouraged (if not commanded) to help those around us who are in need.  In the Old Testament, the harvesters of the crops were to leave any of the grain that was dropped for the poor and needy.  They were also instructed not to glean the corners of the fields. They were also supposed to leave clusters of the fruit on the vine for the poor to pick.  In the New Testament, Jesus tells us that those who help the poor and needy, visit the sick and in prison in His Name will be blessed.  If a needy person comes to our door and asks for food and we have food in the house, we are never to send that person away hungry.  Whatever we give up for Jesus and the sake of the Gospel brings hundred-fold blessing here on earth and eternal life in the age to come. It is truly the win-win situation of all times.
Post 09-05-2016

We Get to Give

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19 And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.

— Philippians 4:19 NLT
 
 

This  is one of those verses that just about everyone knows even if they have very limited familiarity with the Bible.  We need to ask ourselves if we truly believe this verse. How many of us have ever really experienced an unfulfilled need in our lives?  If we don’t count the days that we fast or the times we missed a meal because we chose to, have we ever had a day when we didn’t have three meals or at least have the opportunity to have three meals?  Most of us could probably go ten days or more without wearing any of our clothes twice.  If we are honest, the large majority of those reading this have never experienced a true “need” in our lives.  The truth is that we in the United States could probably clothe most  of the needy in our land by giving away the clothes we don’t need or wear.  We could feed families on the food we throw away.  When we pray that God will feed the hungry and clothe the needy, do we ever consider that He might be saying to us, “I have but you haven’t passed it on to them yet”?  Maybe God has chosen not to give us any more until we use what we have got for His honor and glory by helping others.

Post 08-08-2016

 

God Answers Every Prayer!

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13 And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!  — 1 Kings 3:13 NLT
It has been said that when we get to heaven, if we should ask God why He didn’t answer our prayers, He will show us a list of all the prayers we have ever prayed and His answer to each one.  Then, He will show us a list of all the prayers we should have prayed but didn’t and His answer to all of those.  The list that we prayed will be in the thousands and the list we should have prayed will be in the tens or hundreds of thousands.  Why are we so hesitant to ask God for everything that we need?  No, He isn’t some heavenly Santa needing a list of our needs, but He does want us to ask.  We need to realize that every breath we take is an answer to prayer.  God owes us nothing, but He wants to give us everythng.  The old expression that “God helps those who help themselves” is not Biblical.  God wants us to be totally dependent on Him for our needs.  As long as we think that we can do it ourselves, He will allow us to struggle.  We must reach the same point that Solomon reached and admit to God, that we can’t.  As Solomon asked, “how can one man do this?”,  we need to admit to God that we can do nothing without Him and that we believe with all of our hearts that we can do all things through Him.  It is at this point of need and full realization that we are helpless, that God can move in and use the full force of heaven to accomplish what needs to be done.  When we feel that God has not answered our prayers, He has either said “No” or “Wait for my timing”.  That is the two answers we don’t want to hear, so we just say that God hasn’t answered.  Instead of rebeling and complaining, we need to use that time of waiting to prepare for what God is going to give us that we didn’t ask for.  After all, He gave us the most precious and expensive gift He could give when He gave us His Son, why would He withhold anything else?
32 Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? — Romans 8:32 NLT
Post 04-28-2016

We Were There!

even-smaller-bug-light150 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. — Matt. 27:50-53 NLT    (Read The Whole Story)

After the Lord’s Supper was completed, Jesus and the disciples went to Gethsemane. Jesus took His three closest friends and went a little further into the Garden. Leaving them there, He went a stone’s throw further and began to pray. In our darkest hours, we are sometimes separated from those who love us​, left alone with just us and our Father.  It is then that we can pray effectively and fervently. ​ ​Jesus​ prayed so fervently that He sweat great drops of blood.  Then Judas came with the religious leaders and soldiers.​  ​He came to betray​ Jesus with a kiss. A kiss, not of affection but of deceit and deception.​  What had begun as a farewell celebration for Jesus ended in a long night and day of sorrows for Jesus. 
​ A night and day of being denied by His friends, a night and day of being persecuted and falsely accused, a night and day of being mocked, beaten and spat upon. ​ ​The culmination was HIs being hanged on a cross until He gave up His spirit. ​ Nothing short of God’s love could cause a person to submit to such indignation and punishment.  ​Especially when that person was innocent of any sin. So, why would He do it?  He did it for you and for me.  We weren’t there physically, but every sin we ever committed or ever will commit was there separating Jesus from HIs Father for that short space of time.  Unthinkable! Unimaginable!   ​That anyone could love others so​ much that they would agree to suffer a death that was so horrible it defies imagination.  
Yet, that is exactly what Jesus did for us.

 

Post 03-25-2016